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NFL live stream: How to watch every 2021 NFL game online

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NFL live streams: 2021 season cheat sheet

• Next game: Eagles vs Cowboys @ 8:15 p.m.
US channels: CBS/Paramount Plus, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL Network and Prime Video
• UK channels: Sky
• Canada channels: DAZN
• Watch anywhere: Try ExpressVPN risk-free 

Week 3 of NFL live stream action is coming to a close with the Eagles vs Cowboys live stream for Monday Night Football. Both teams enter with a win and a loss, but since the Eagles took week 1 and not week 2, they're out to prove that the first outing wasn't a fluke. 

Thanks to multiple streaming options, you have a wide array of ways to watch these NFL games. We've got everything you need to stream this NFL season from a phone, laptop, set-top box or anything in-between.

The methods for watching NFL games change often as the league signs new contracts and streaming services change their policies, so we're always updating this guide with the latest broadcast info, as well as the current week's schedule.

With so many good games, you're probably looking for a way to catch the action online. Here are the best ways to live stream NFL games.

How to watch NFL live streams with a VPN

Football fans, if for some reason you've had to leave your own "bubble" — or you've been hit by a dreaded local blackout — and you can't watch the NFL live streams you want, you're not out of luck. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won't hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for. 

Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well. Here are our top picks.

We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.View Deal

Using a VPN is incredibly simple.

1. Install the VPN of your choice. As we've said, ExpressVPN is our favorite.

2. Choose the location you wish to connect to in the VPN app. For instance if you're in the U.S. and want to view a U.K. service, you'd select U.K. from the list.

3. Sit back and enjoy the action. Head to Sling, Yahoo or another website and watch the game.

NFL live streams in the US

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Looking at the NFL 2021-22 schedule, you can see that games will air on a wide range of services and channels, including old standbys like ESPN, NFL Network and your local FOX, NBC and CBS affiliates. 

Just like last season, ESPN has Monday Night Football and NBC will have Sunday Night Football. CBS gets AFC games on Sunday afternoons, and FOX will have the NFC games. Amazon Prime Video has some Thursday Night Football games, while the NFL Network will continue to offer a bunch of games throughout the year. 

So, that makes it really easy to recommend where cord-cutters should turn to watch the NFL season: Fubo TV. Built for all things sports, Fubo has all three of those local broadcasters, plus ESPN and NFL Network. That's why it's one of the best streaming services.

Sling TV is another popular option, but it's a case of "you get what you pay for" as Sling Orange & Blue (which you'd need to get ESPN, FOX and NBC and NFL Network) costs $50 per month, while the Fubo TV Standard package gives you all of the above, for $65 per month.

All the networks

Fubo.TV: The best streaming service for getting 2021 NFL live streams, Fubo has all of the right network channels and the two cable channels you don't want to go without. It's got a 7-day free trial so you don't need to pay up front.View Deal

If you don't need all of the NFL games, Sling TV provides a middle ground. The $50 per month Sling Orange + Blue package has Fox, NBC and ESPN.View Deal

NFL Game Pass: There is one extremely easy way to watch any NFL game you want online, but it comes with a huge caveat: You have to wait until the game is over. Still, if you can keep yourself from finding out last nightꞌs score, NFL Game Pass (which has a seven-day free trial) will charge you $99.99 per year for the privilege of streaming any game to your computer, mobile device or set-top box.

Game Pass also lets you watch select preseason games, listen to local radio broadcasts of games and watch condensed versions that squeeze an entire game into 30 minutes. While watching the game in real time is arguably half the fun of live sports, thereꞌs something to be said for setting your own schedule.

Paramount Plus is another ideal option for watching games online. In addition to a back catalog of CBS shows, plus some streaming-only shows like Star Trek: Picard, this service also lets you watch your local CBS station and that channel's games in your market as they air live.

You'll want the Premium package for Paramount Plus, which costs $9.99 per month and includes local CBS stations (which the $4.99 per month Basic package does not).

Paramount Plus combines what used to be CBS All Access with even more content from the deep ViacomCBS vault. For $9.99 per month, get access to Survivor and Big Brother episodes, as well as originals like Star Trek: Picard and The Good Fight. And more great stuff is on the way, including Frasier and Criminal Minds revivals.View Deal

Amazon: Amazon jumped into the sports streaming market and nabbed the contract for Thursday Night Football, with a few exceptions will only be on the NFL Network. As long as you have Amazon Prime Video, you can watch Thursday Night Football on Prime Video without ever needing to pay extra. The 11 TNF games can be streamed through Prime Video and Twitch, and they will also be the exclusive streamer for a Saturday regular season game in the second half of the season.

NFL RedZone: If you have a cable TV subscription, NFL RedZone lets you watch a football game's most exciting moments. The service broadcasts live coverage from every game on a given Sunday, but only when a team is in the "red zone," or about to potentially score a touchdown. Because it also gives you real-time fantasy stats and extended highlights, it's especially useful for fantasy-football fans.

NFL RedZone games air between 1 p.m. ET and the end of the late-afternoon games on Sundays during the NFL season. You can watch RedZone from your cable or satellite provider's streaming service or on a variety of apps for smartphones, tablets and connected devices like Apple TV and PlayStation 4. You can also watch games in a web browser.

RedZone is included as a pat of add-on packages for Sling TV, Fubo and Hulu with Live TV. 

NFL Sunday Ticket: DirecTV subscribers have one of the simplest paths to streaming full NFL games in NFL Sunday Ticket. This service streams live games in their entirety to televisions, computers, Android and iOS devices, and game consoles. Sunday Ticket applies only to out-of-market games.

You can also get NFL Sunday Ticket as a stand-alone service — but only if you live in an area that doesn't get DirecTV service.

Watch ESPN: If you subscribe to a cable package that includes ESPN, and most do, you can stream live ESPN programming from just about any device. Simply use your computer, smartphone, set-top box, game console or another connected device to download the ESPN app, then sign in with your cable provider's information. When ESPN airs Monday Night Football, log into the app and enjoy the game.

NFL live streams for free

If you just want to watch on your phone, the Yahoo Sports app for iOS and Android gives away every NFL game that's broadcast in your local TV market to your smartphone or tablet for free. Yes, that includes Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football. You can also sign into your NFL Game Pass subscription and stream it from the Yahoo app.

With one of our best TV antenna picks you can watch live. Or, you could make your own stream, with a service such as Channel Master or Tablo, connected to your antenna and a DVR box. This allows you to broadcast the stream — either live or recorded — to a set-top box, mobile device or computer just about anywhere in the world. 

The cost varies depending on the HD antenna you get and the service you use, but the local channels themselves are free, and you wonꞌt have to jump through any NFL-sponsored hoops.

NFL live streams in the UK

The upper third of the British flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

You're going to want Sky Sports for watching NFL games in the U.K. The Sky Sports NFL channel (which will feature more than 100 live games this season) and Sky Sports Main Event are the primary destinations for your viewing pleasure.

Sky Sports NFL will pack a lot of content. Specifically, expect at least 5 live games per week, with "first-pick exclusive games ... in the 6pm and 9pm slot every Sunday" (according to Sky) and every Thursday, Sunday and Monday Night Football game. It's also getting NFL RedZone, and NFL Network programming, including Good Morning Football and Total Access.

Also expect documentaries "and other content" via NFL Films and NBC Sports, and original Sky Sports programming about the NFL.

If you're an existing Sky customer, you can get all of that with the Sky Sports Complete Pack, for £39 per month

If you're not looking to spend that much, you can get a less comprehensive Sky Sports pass from Now TV. Daily, weekly and monthly passes range from £9.99 to £33.99.

NFL live streams in Canada

The upper third of the Canadian Flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Get in, folks, we're going to Da Zone. Or to be more specific, Canadian football fans will need DAZN to watch the NFL 2021-22 season. DAZN is trying to get GamePass rights, but that has not been announced yet.

DAZN is also the home of live Champions League soccer games. Plus, Canadians get a 30-day free trial of DAZN here.

2021 NFL week 3 schedule: This week/weekend's games

All games in Eastern Time:

Thursday, September 23

  • Panthers (2-0) vs Texans (1-1) @ 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network

Sunday, September 23

  • Colts (0-2) vs Titans (1-1) @ 1 p.m. on CBS
  • Chargers (1-1) vs Chiefs (1-1) @ 1 p.m. on CBS
  • Bengals (1-1) vs Steelers (1-1) @ 1 p.m. on CBS
  • Ravens (1-1) vs Lions (0-2) @ 1 p.m. on CBS
  • Falcons (0-2) vs Giants (0-2) @ 1 p.m. on FOX 
  • Bears (1-1) vs Browns (1-1) @ 1 p.m. on FOX
  • Saints (1-1) vs Patriots (1-1) @ 1 p.m. on FOX
  • Cardinals (2-0) vs Jaguars (0-2) @ 1 p.m. on FOX
  • Washington (1-1) vs Bills (1-1) @ 1 p.m. on FOX
  • Jets (0-2) vs Broncos (2-0) @ 4:05 p.m. on CBS
  • Dolphins (1-1) vs Raiders (2-0) @ 4:05 p.m. on CBS
  • Seahawks (1-1) vs Vikings (0-2) @ 4:25 p.m. on FOX
  • Buccaneers (2-0) vs Rams (2-0) @ 4:25 p.m. on FOX
  • Packers (1-1) vs 49ers (2-0) @ 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, September 20

  • Eagles (1-1) vs Cowboys (1-1) @ 8:15 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN2

VPN terms and services

Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past six-plus years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • Bill from.PA
    I'm curious why Fubo TV was selected as the best option for streaming the NFL. YouTube TV has CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network available. I believe Hulu with Live TV also has the same channels available. I also believe that for the longest time Fubo did NOT have ESPN. So, why is it better for streaming NFL?
    Reply